GOG German Open Championships – Düsseldorf, 21st – 22nd August 2010: Race Report

Race Report by Rob Ashby (with contributions from Paul Price)

Team GB, Rob Ashby, Sam Gordon, Louis Selby and Paul Price travelled to compete in the GOG German Open Championships – an outlaw race held in Düsseldorf. Paul travelled out on Thursday night and picked up a rental car and checked on our accommodation at the IBIS Hotel. Sam, Louis and I were met at the airport by Paul on Friday evening. After checking in to the hotel we headed off for a visit to the Pavel factory to see Donald.

There was quite a gathering at the factory, the Berlin crew, Ernst and Jeroen from Holland, Vincent Berruchon from France, Kako Max from Brazil not to mention the ever present GOG Boyz! Paul had an opportunity to check on progress of his prototype 35” GS Roadster that Donald was working on. After much ogling and drooling over premium Pavel product and checking out the awesome combi-pool we said our goodbye’s then headed back into town, where after a couple of “Alt biers” it was time to turn in for the night.

The first race on Saturday was a 50 cone Hybrid held on a wide sloping cycle path by the Rhine in Oberkassel. The course had been set a few days earlier, giving the locals a chance to practice! The new Pavel ramps were looking good, they were about 6 feet high and finished with “go faster” racing stripes. They had a really good transition that was both fast and easy to ride and pump.

Once the qualifying runs were over the racers were split into A, B and C Groups. About 40 or so riders had signed up to race and due to this it was decided to run the C Group round of 16 as a sort of “qualifying round” with the top 8 moving up into the B Group. I found myself in the C Group after hitting too many cones on the tight section in qualifying but I battled through my heats and made the cut into the B Group.

The B Group was made up of some super fast Am’s, I was drawn against Peter Novotny of Czech Republic in the round of 16 and Sam against Dirk Jonczyk. I lost to Peter by over a second but Sam was more fortunate and cruised past Dirk going on to meet Starsky in the round of 8.

Sam turned it up a notch and after a very close race made it in to the next round against fellow Pavel rider Steve Pederson from USA. As if the racing wasn’t intense enough, the afternoon sun beating down on the course made for sweltering conditions. Both riders needed re-runs due to missing cones on their courses and by the final run were showing signs of the heat. Sam put in a blistering performance, his focus and determination winning through, beating Steve by 0.5 second and into the final against friend and adversary Carsten Pingel of Germany. Sam had to summon all of his remaining strength for the final but once again his true Brit grit and determination paid dividends and he went on to take 1st beating Carsten by just 0.15 second.

In the A Group round of 16 Louis was paired against Ernst Jan de Boom of Holland and Paul against Vincent Berruchon of France. Louis lost out to Ernst by just O.024 second even after only just picking up one cone penalty in his combined runs – that’s how close the racing was in the group! Despite a clean, fast second run Paul went out to a very on-form Vinzz by a margin of 0.4 second. It was a good day for Pavel/GOG riders, Dominik Kowalski went on to take 1st place in the A Group with Heiko Scholler in 2nd and Christoph Baumann 3rd.

After the race most riders went back to the Pavel factory to ride the pool. We headed off into the old town to meet up with the Dutch crew for dinner and a few beers and to celebrate Sam’s victory over the Germans, (on the anniversary of the Battle of Britain :o )

On Sunday we drove out of town to a fast hill which formed part of a cycle track very close to a power station. But a bust by the Police meant we ended up heading back to the Rhine site to do Super Hybrid/GS – best of 3 runs. The vibe was much more relaxed than the previous days racing, for some of us that was a good thing; too much celebrating out late had taken its toll! A few light showers interrupted the racing every now and then but being a very quick drying surface we all managed to get our three runs in.

After the Prize giving, which saw the overall men’s title go to Dominik Kowalski and Kathrin Sehl (Pavel/GOG) taking the women’s crown we packed and headed back to Blighty leaving Paul to stay another night and collect his new GS Pavel Roadster from Donald in the morning.

(Keep an eye out for news from Paul on the new GS model Roadster, he did collect it before he returned home after the race, I’m sure he will be keeping us posted on testing?)

Team GB results:

Paul Price (Pavel): 9th Hybrid, 14th Super Hybrid/GS

Sam Gordon (Pavel/Virage):  1st “B Group” – Hybrid, 20th Super Hybrid/GS

Louis Selby (Pavel/Pistache): 11th Hybrid, 13th Super Hybrid/GS

Rob Ashby: 30th Hybrid, 23rd Super Hybrid/GS

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